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Jack o' Lantern


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A local name for a Will-o'-the-Wisp, mainly in East Anglia and in south-west England; also spelled Jack-a-Lantern and Jacky Lantern, according to the whim of the collectors. T. Quiller Couch found that around Polperro (Cornwall) it was regarded as a pixy, and was invoked in the rhyme:Jack o' the lantern! Joan the wad,Who tickled the maid and made her mad!Light me home, the weather's bad.

In the 1970s, little figures representing these two were being sold in Cornwall as lucky charms, for 5s. each, and proved very popular.

In the south-west, the name is also used for the turnip lanterns children carry at Halloween.


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